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40 Under 40

In for the long haul

40 Under 40

As the newest members of InDaily‘s 40 Under 40 alumni network, these three winners have even more resources to help achieve their long term business goals.

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Ben Rijnbeek
Beek Build / managing Director

Ben Rijnbeek’s ambitions are large – he started his own construction company in the midst of the pandemic’s first flush, in 2020, and wants to change the way the industry works in South Australia.

After starting his career in construction management – a path that took him interstate – Rijnbeek returned to Adelaide in 2020 to found Beek Build, an ambitious construction and project management company that now has five employees.

It wasn’t easy, but he soon won his first major contract and has now worked on projects in sectors including aged care, education, health, hospitality, industrial, retail, residential and commercial.

“I was confronted daily by people wondering why anyone would start a business during a worldwide pandemic and a state of such uncertainty,” he said.

“The greatest lesson from this was to block out others and walk your own path. You own the outcome, good or bad, based on the choices you make. Due to this, I was able to build a successful business and take advantage when others were still too nervous to do so.”

Adelaide’s best kept secret? Ten Mile East Winery. Great little spot set on the lake, with good wine and knowledgeable service.

Brad Manuel
Livewire Group International / Co-founder

A true innovator, Brad Manuel and his co-founder Indy Khabra were the first to create a gaming marketing and gametech company.

Launching early in 2021, Livewire now works with global brands and agencies, enabling them to better engage gaming audiences.

Livewire has landed a range of ASX200 companies, global businesses and major marketing agencies, which has positioned them as a leader within the global gaming ecosystem.

This has included exclusive partnerships with Roblox and Activision Blizzard Media, owner of Candy Crush.

Manuel, 34, led the commercialisation of e-sports for the Adelaide Crows before consulting directly with the AFL and setting up their gaming strategy, including building the biggest Fortnite event in Oceania.

Manuel said there has been a challenge in building a completely new marketing space.

“We had several major clients won over nine-to-ten-month conversations,” Manuel said.

“While the business looked like there may not be demand, we continued to refine our offering, chase every lead, and believed what we were building could truly make a difference in the global marketing scene.”

A food item that changed your life? Cheeseburger spring rolls.

Brigid Koenig
Sammy D Foundation / CEO

The Sammy D Foundation was formed in 2008 in response to the tragic death of Sam Davis from a one-punch assault, rallying around a purpose to end violence by connecting and empowering young people aged 10 to 25.

Driven leader Brigid Koenig, 37, faced immediate challenges when she was appointed as the foundation’s CEO in 2018, with the organisation in need of significant funding and new partnerships.

“Morale was extremely low without new opportunities, but our staff were passionate; passionate to make a difference in the world, in reducing violence and supporting youth at risk,” Koenig said.

Under Brigid’s guidance, the organisation started to shift focus to build new long-term partnerships and refocus the foundation’s mission, vision and values.

With all of the foundation’s programs delivered face-to-face, the COVID lockdowns posed significant challenges, for which Brigid had to stand down some staff – “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do” – but worked to ensure zero per cent staff attrition.

“The more revenue we make and funds we raise, the greater impact we can have on the community,” she says. “This is proven by the reach of our education programs, which has grown from around 7000 people when I started to nearly 30,000 in 2021.”

Best piece of advice you’ve been given? The regular saying is ‘treat others how you would like to be treated’, but I think it’s more important to be really in-tune with everyone around you and treat others how they want to be treated – that’s true inclusion.

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